DAVIDSON, NC — Students and staff in the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District (SFDRCISD) are breathing easier with new district-wide indoor air quality enhancements. The school district teamed up with Trane, by Trane Technologies, and Synexis to improve the quality of indoor environment across the district’s five campuses in Texas.
The district installed portable Synexis BioDefense Systems in every classroom in the district — part of SFDRCISD’s Safety Mitigation Plan to help reduce the presence of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Purchased with Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds, the Synexis units will provide ongoing pathogen reduction to support cleaner indoor air and surfaces.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carlos Rios, said he hopes the installation of the Synexis units will help people feel more confident in their indoor environmental quality. “We want to let our families know that their students are in a cleaner environment. Same for our staff and for any visitors that come by our campuses.”
The free-standing Synexis Sphere units installed continuously address certain harmful pathogens in air and on surfaces. Synexis uses a process by which naturally occurring oxygen and humidity in the air is converted to Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) or DHP. DHP molecules travel throughout an enclosed space to actively reduce levels of certain viruses, bacteria, mold, odors, and many insects.
In the first eight weeks of the school year, prior to the Synexis installation, the district logged nearly 300 confirmed COVID-19 cases, averaging 7.2 cases per school day. After the installation of the Synexis Spheres, the district reported that the number of cases decreased to less than one case on average per school day through the remainder of 2021. School district case rates, which previously accounted for more than 14% of total county COVID cases, were down significantly below community case rates and accounted for less than 7% of county COVID cases, prior to the December break.
“We are hopeful that the installation of these systems will help reduce levels of certain viruses and allergens,” said Dr. Rios.
The indoor air quality recommendations for Del Rio schools are part of Wellsphere, Trane’s holistic approach to indoor environmental quality. Trane works with school administrators, facility managers, and district leaders to assess each schools’ unique needs and develop data-based building improvement solutions that create more comfortable and efficient learning environments.
“We commend the San Felipe Del Rio school district for going the extra mile to improve the quality of the environment, especially air and surfaces, in its schools in line with industry and Texas Education Agency guidelines,” said Scott Huffmaster, healthy buildings leader for Trane Technologies. “Trane is proud to support the district’s measures to mitigate indoor environmental quality concerns for an optimized in person learning environment. Long-term investments in indoor environmental quality will benefit students, staff and building occupants for years to come.”
The transmission of Covid-19 may occur in a variety of ways and circumstances, many of the aspects of which are currently not known. HVAC systems, products, services, and other offerings have not been tested for their effectiveness in reducing the spread of Covid-19, including through the air in closed environments.